Sami's Blog

Sami's Blog

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28 Feb 2019

Emma - The beginning

Welcome to this series focused on building a SQ competition car. The class where I hope I can compete, is the EMMA Sound Quality (S) Skilled OEM-class

Links to more resources EMMA Finland and EMMA International


There are more classes where you can compete and rules, but these are the brief rules for OEM Skilled-class.


  • Installation has to be top quality (meaning no loose wires and sloppy installs).
  • Hidden components have to be documented.
  • No need for presentation of the car/install.


  • No sponsored cars (receipts have to be available for all the purchases).
  • No judges or professionals.
  • No modified/self-made components.

OEM Class specific limitations

  • Only original speaker locations allowed.
  • No “tuning”-shop specific car models. Factory special models are allowed.
  • Headunit swap is allowed.
  • Separate volume knob or display install is allowed
  • Modifications to other car components allowed

These rules make the class interesting and fair, and prove that you can have nice audio for a relatively “small” cost.

The beginning

It all started with my dad. Dad always had the best audio gear, and always wanted to improve the setup when new technology came to the “consumer” level price. It was all about price =/ quality, so it had to be cheap, and sound good. Of course, we all know that you can pick two of these three;

  1. Good
  2. Cheap
  3. Works as intended

But you can always cheat on a few of these categories;

  1. Not really an option, remember, it has to sound good
  2. If you have time to wait for the prices to come down, you can get good stuff for really low prices. (That is why this project will most likely be a “project” for the rest of my life…)
  3. This can be cheated if you know how to fix broken things.

This way you can have the “best” option with low cost and it works as it should (well, most of the time…) Now that we have some background, lets start with;

The first build

My first build was a 1999 SAAB 9-3 N/A. It was a relatively basic car, quiet and pretty nice to drive, even if it did not have a turbo…

This build was really basic. Unfortunately, I could not find any pictures of this build, and we sold the car to my sister… All the audio gear was of course removed before sale :)

Basic steps;

  1. Get rid of the OEM headunit - SAAB had a standard 1-DIN headunit, and it was easy to swap for another one
  2. Pull some wire to the boot, for BASS
  3. Put in a cheap MAX WATT amp, and a ported box
  4. Profit???

Well… It was great for riding around with friends, but that was about it. But that got me thinking, hey, maybe I can do a better install…

The second build

Will be explained more thorougly in the next post in this series, as this one had a lot more going on, rather than just slapping a new headunit and some trunk bass into a car.

Stay tuned for more!